Last summer, I fell in love with zucchini sautéed with mint and chili. This year, I'm still loving zucchini with mint and chili, but I decided to come at it from a slightly different angle. I decided to try roasting the squash, and to get the flavors of the mint and chili to really soak into the zucchini, I whisked together a simple vinaigrette with sherry vinegar, fresh chopped mint and chili flakes and drizzled this over the squash before roasting it. I drizzled some more over the cooked zucchini. This is a dish that can be made ahead and served cold or at room temperature, or eaten straight from the oven. Whichever you choose, make sure you start with excellent zucchini -- it'll make all the difference. —Merrill Stubbs
red wine or sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Large pinch red chili flakes
loosely packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
medium zucchini and/or summer squash
In This Recipe
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the chili flakes and mint, and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly. Taste, add more salt and pepper if necessary, and set aside.
Trim the ends off the zucchini and halve them lengthwise. Arrange the them cut-side-up in a large shallow baking dish and sprinkle lightly with salt. Drizzle about half of the vinaigrette evenly over the zucchini. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until just tender when you pierce them with a fork.
Heat the broiler, and then put the squash about 5 inches beneath the flame for 3 to 5 minutes, watching it carefully and rotating if necessary to make sure it browns evenly. Let the squash cool for a few minutes, drizzle more of the vinaigrette over the top and serve family-style.